Head Instructor

John Carter, owner and head instructor, has over 30 years experience in martial arts and self-defense training. He is a certified 5th degree black-belt in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido and a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Level 3 Certified Instructor. Sensei Carter has additional training in Judo, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Kempo, Boxing, Muay Thai and Tai Chi. Mr. Carter continues his training and personal education in many martial arts.

Mr. Carter graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and also earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Additionally, he has conducted classes and courses for law enforcement professionals from Richland & Lexington County Sheriff's Departments, SC Highway Patrol, South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and SLED S.W.A.T. team members. Sensei Carter has also provided martial arts and self-defense programs for The University of South Carolina, Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission, The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, Fort Jackson, The Girl Scouts Council of Columbia, SC and numerous Richland and Lexington county school districts. Sensei Carter has also been featured on WLTX Channel 19, WACH FOX 57, WIS TV Channel 10, and in the Lexington Dispatch as well as the Carolina Reporter giving practical self-defense advice, techniques and tips.

In January of 1997, he established Carter's Academy of Self-Defense.  His headquarters academy is located in the heart of Lexington, South Carolina.  He also operates successful martial art and self-defense programs at partnership locations in Irmo, South Carolina.  Mr. Carter is the senior representative of the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido in Columbia, SC and his dojo is one of only of few academies throughout the nation to offer instruction in both Nihon Goshin Aikido and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.